Putting the Golf Cart Before the Horsepower
Seeking to comply with California regulations requiring automakers to reduce their emissions, General Motors has announced plans to give away thousands of electric vehicles over the next three years. The vehicles in question are literally modified golf carts (they have had seat belts, windshield wipers, and other parts added), and are only for use in low-traffic areas; the electric carts will be donated to businesses and charitable organizations, and will help GM earn low-emissions-vehicles credits under the California law. While most of the vehicles will go to California, some are destined for New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts, which have traditionally followed California’s environmental lead when it comes to tightening automotive standards. Some environmentalists expressed skepticism at what seemed like a half-measure by GM: “I don’t think anyone’s clamoring for more golf carts,” said Kate Simmons, a member of the Sierra Club’s global warming and energy program. “There are real technologies that exist today that GM could put in their vehicles.”
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